Trial by Machine. Why do we put up with this? BY: Charles L. Sifers

Trial by machine:

In almost EVERY criminal charge (rape, murder, theft, assault, and yes DUI), the bottom-line, core issue is whether the defendant did it or not. In other words: what is the truth of these allegations made by the prosecutors the witnesses, cops, and alleged victims? The State says he did and offers various evidences to prove it. Not withstanding the system’s requirement of the State to “prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant did the crime, the defendant could simply be asked, “did you do this?” and that would save the near entirety of the criminal legal system. The problem is that the defendant will not say he did it. All he would have to do is say, “nope, not me” and that “simple” solution is thwarted. Hence, we must have trials.

But wait: There is a machine that can tell us that! Simply put the person on the polygraph and the “lie/truth detector” will tell us whether the defendant did the acts charged or not!! It is accurate, well used and received, and considered to be reliable. It will cut thought the smoke and mirrors. It will NOT let the defense attorney do his magic to confuse the jury so as to let a guilty man go. It will let the prosecutor know whether he has charged the right man. This is, without comparison, a win-win solution!

Then why is this machine not used in this way and, in almost all States, per se inadmissible in any court room? It is, in fact, grounds for mis-trial if EITHER the defense OR the State so much as mentions the word, polygraph in open court!

Here’s why: We all know that this machine can be WRONG. We all know that outside factors can influence the result. We know that the results can be manipulated and skewed. We know that individual differences of persons tested with this machine can give false positives. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, our legal system AND our community, is simply not willing to convict simply upon the word of this machine.

So, WHY are we – as a community – so ready and willing to accept the word of a MACHINE known as a “Breathalyzer” or an “Intoxilyzer” and let it determine GUILT of one of our fellow citizens???? These machines, too, suffer from all of the reasons listed above to exclude a polygraph (and many more), but we STILL accept the “guilt” of a person simply upon the word of this machine. There is something VERY wrong with this. Think about it. . . . . .


 Charles L. Sifers
First Attorney Board Certified
in DUI Defense by National College for DUI Defense
(NCDD) under American Bar Association (ABA) Guidelines


Best Lawyers in America in DUI/DWI Defense Specialty, 2010 ed.


Oklahoma‘ First & ONLY
Regent (retired) for the National College for DUI Defense

Sifers & Sifers, Attorneys at Law
Court Plaza Building, Suite 950
228 Robert S. Kerr
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
office – 405-232-3388
fax – 405-232-5144
email –
web(s) –

 “The People should NOT be afraid of the Government. The Government should be afraid of the People�.  

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